Between August and December, PRT athletes competed in the 8 races of the San Diego-Imperial USATF Dirt Dog Cross Country Series. Fall 2017 marked PRT's seventh season participating in the series, and it proved to be as competitive and fun as always!
The season kicked off with the Wild Duck 5K in Oceanside, highlighted by individual wins for Hilary Corno (Women's 40+), Tyler Underwood (Men's Open), Jamaal Ryan (Men's 40+), and Matt Sheremeta (Men's 50+), along with an unofficial win for Elizabeth Ryan. In the next race, the challenging Balboa 4 Miler, Hilary (1st), Liz (3rd), Tyler (2nd), and Jamaal (2nd) repeated as PRT's top finishers in their respective divisions. Kevin Zimmer picked up the win in the Men's 50+ division, and Scott McEntee began his streak of PRT Men's 60+ finishes with a second place..
At the Bonita 8K, Nick Scarpello (Men's Open) and Matt Sheremeta (Men's 50+) were overall winners for PRT, with Elizabeth Ryan (3rd, Women's Open), Amy Halseth (4th, Women's 40+), and Jason Batterson (3rd) setting the paces in their categories.
At the Crazy 8's 5K in Rancho Bernardo, Nick Scarpello, Hilary Corno, and Kevin Zimmer picked up additional wins, while Kaitlin Hildebrand (3rd, Women's Open) and Jamaal Ryan (2nd) also notched top team placements. At the Cougar Challenge at Cal State San Marcos, the PRT masters were victorious, with wins for Jamaal Ryan, Amy Halseth, and Kevin Zimmer. Dan Seidel (4th) led the way for the Open Men. Just a week later at the Ursula Rains Balboa Boogie 5K, the same quartet repeated as the team's top finishers.
The team finished out the regular season at the Cuyamaca 6K, with repeat wins for Nick Scarpello, Jamaal Ryan, Amy Halseth, and Matt Sheremeta, and second place finishes for Kaitlin Hildebrand and Scott McEntee. While the Women's Open team had been depleted due to injury early on, going into the championship race, the Men's Open, Women's 40+, Men's 40+, and the perfect-scoring Men's 50+ team were all in position to contend for wins.
In the Women's championship race, Elizabeth Ryan gamely took it out hard on the first lap with Boom Running's Paula Lamont. While Lamont pulled away, Ryan held on for a second place finish (fourth in the series scoring). Kaitlin Hildebrand took sixth place and with a strong regular season finished third in the series. Kristin Schleicher competed during the regular season. Running concurrently in the Women's Masters category, the team of Hilary Corno, Amy Halseth, and Charisa Wernick were able to bring home the 40+ team win, with the help of Angela Moll scoring in the regular season. Corno and Halseth finished 1-2 in the series scoring with Wernick in 6th.
The men's championship race featured a battle between Daniel Gonia running unattached and Nick Scarpello and Tyler Underwood of PRT. Gonia prevailed, with Underwood moving up over the race into second and Scarpello third. In the series scoring, the order was reversed, with Scarpello 2nd, Underwood 3rd, and Dan Seidel taking 8th. The men finished second to the San Diego Track Club in the team division. Derek Bradley, Derrick Lloyd, Thomas Whitcomb, Chuck McKeown, Alex Phipps, Carl Dargitz, Ryan Place, Blake Wilson, Paul Wellman, Eduardo Mariscal, and Kevin Sorrell rounded out the Open Men's team during the 2017 Dirt Dog season.
The Men's Masters 40+ team was led by Jamaal Ryan in second place behind Boom Running's Okwaro Raura, with Jason Batterson in third, which would equal their final standings in the series. The team finished second to Boom Running, with Michael Stange, Andrew Block, Brian Coullahan, Justin Runac, Brian Culley, and Joel Bernard donning the PRT jersey this season.
To no one's surprise, the Men's Masters 50+ team won the team title with their eighth consecutive win of the season over the Bonita Road Runners. Kevin Zimmer was the race and series winner with Matt Sheremeta in second, Adam Weiner fourth, and Bruce Boettner 6th. Jeff Creighton and Marc Sosnowski also contributed team points. Scott McEntee was PRT's lone 60+ representative, but he made the most of it by finishing every race in fourth place or better, ending up 3rd in the championship and series scoring. The 50+ Men plan to compete at the USATF Club XC National Championship in Lexington, KY in December.
In total, four PRT runners earned the IronDog distinction for completing every race in the series: Charisa Clarkson, Amy Halseth, Scott McEntee, and Daniel Seidel.
According to form, PRT celebrated another fun and successful season with a team party, including a picnic at Liberty Station and a trip to Stone Brewing Company. The team is grateful for the opportunity to race in this competitive series every year!